Published on this day in 1885, Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn became a worldwide sensation.
Huck was the disreputable boy in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” ragged; uncased for, beaten whenever his drunken father was sober enough to hold the strap.
He was 14 when he got away from him and, running for his life, met old Jim, also the run.
Together on a raft they tumbled in and out of experiences on the great busy Mississippi over a hundred-years ago.
It was a life which the author knew so well, having earned his living on the river at the age 16 in fulfillment of a boyish ambition to become a pilot on one of the river steamers and sit in the high pilot’s seat from which he could look out on the teeming life the great waterway. “Huckleberry Finn” is great American classic. It grew out of “Tom Sawyer,” and takes more reading, but it yields a far richer harvest.